Flight-Report

Review of Asiana Airlines flight Hong Kong Seoul in Business

Airline Asiana Airlines
Flight OZ722
Class Business
Seat 5A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 03:20
Take-off 25 Nov 18, 13:10
Arrival at 25 Nov 18, 17:30
OZ   #21 out of 129 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 88 reviews
lbfortress
By 1124
Published on 15th December 2018
photo 20181125_122752

Quick Weekend Trip LAX to Hong Kong



This is my first ever report on this site. If you wish to watch the video, of this particular flight or other flights I have taken, please visit the link below. Thank you.




Setup


I have never had status on any airline before. For the last two years, my business travels and the fact I was in a Star Alliance Hub, Guam, with United Airlines, allowed me to accumulate lots of miles. But I knew I wouldn't meet the spend requirements on United. So I decided to credit my miles to Asiana Airlines. Asiana allows you two years to gain 40,000 miles to achieve Asiana Diamond which is equivalent to Star Alliance Gold. And once you achieve that, you have that status for TWO years. One thing to pay attention to is your fare class. There are tables on the Asiana website that will show you how many miles you will accumulate based on your booking class. There are also tables that will show how many miles you can accumulate on Star Alliance and other partner airlines of theirs. Pay attention to these as some booking classes will not get you any miles. Darn you Air New Zealand!

I had accumulated about 37,000 miles flying Asiana and other Star Alliance partners since I had signed up in December 2016. Due to a new job starting, I had no guarantee that I could take a trip before December 31, and my only open date was Thanksgiving weekend here in the States. I decided that a status run and the price I paid was worth the cost.

I paid $629 round trip for a trip departing Los Angeles 11 pm on November 21 arriving in Seoul around 5 am November 23 with a connecting flight Asiana 721 departing Seoul-Incheon at 9 am and arriving in Hong Kong around noon on November 23. I would be credited 70% of the miles flown, or about 5,000 one way. My ticket did not allow me to use miles to upgrade. I would also receive a 5% bonus for flying Asiana and being an Asiana Gold Member. It would take two days for the miles to be posted and the status on the Asiana website to reflect that I had indeed achieved Asiana Diamond. This updated the night before my flight back to Seoul.


Check in at the Airport



I'm always amazed at how modern, comfortable and efficient many airports in major Asian cities are. From the public transportation options to the services and amenities, most Asian airports I've flown to, Manila being an exception, are so nice compared to most airports in the U.S. Hong Kong is no different. I arrived 3.5 hours early and saw that Asiana's check-in counters were not even setup, yet. I arrive 3.5 hours early at LAX and the line is already building, not just for Asiana but most airlines. I was checked in and had my boarding pass within 5 minutes. I like this priority check in.

photo hkg

Asiana Diamond and above and Star Alliance Gold get their own check in line, no matter what class they fly. Business class check in was to the left and economy to the right. I was the first person to be served when they opened the check in.

photo checkin

Much to my surprise, I was informed that I had been upgraded to business class. I would be seated in 5A. I was also invited/encouraged to use the Singapore Silver Kris Lounge. This was quite a treat. Unfortunately, I was only upgraded for this flight and not the longer flight on the A380 to Los Angeles. But I was happy for this surprise. I don't know if my status had anything to do with the upgrade or not. Was this an example of an operational upgrade? Anyway, immigration was a breeze, about 20 minutes this busy Sunday morning. I had a bit of a walk and about 2.5 hours before departure. Off to the lounge.

photo business


Singapore Silver Kris Lounge



The lounge is located near gates 15-19. My flight would depart from gate 17.

Here is the entrance to the lounge.

photo lounge

The lounge is very quiet. There is a bar just as you walk in after the check in. There are showers and restrooms to the right in the long hallway, though it was out of order today. The left is the first class lounge. It's not a big lounge, but it never felt crowded. The lounge is kept very clean as there are people walking around cleaning up dirty and used plates, cups and other trash. I've only ever used the United Club at Hong Kong, which I liked because it was spacious, open because it overlooked the terminal below and best of all, you could see the planes parked at the gate. Unfortunately, Singapore Silver Kris offers none of those things.

photo seats

This private seat was nice though.

photo private

However, the food was good. There was a combination of Asian and Western food. Laksa was also available, but since I had eaten so much for breakfast and was going to eat a lot, I chose to skip that today. Here are some of the food items.

photo food


Off to Gate 17



What I also like is the fact you can get some nice pictures of the planes parked at the gate. Here is a Singapore A350 and my Asiana plane.

photo 20181125_122628photo 20181125_122752

One interesting thing is that there are so many announcements at this airport. The one speaking English had an Irish accent that day which I found cool.

Not busy, yet.

photo gate17

One thing I find interesting is that there is a check in lane for Premium customers Star Alliance Golds and Asiana Diamonds and above. And one for economy. There are no boarding groups necessarily. There is kind of an announcement and everyone starts getting in line. And you can fill a full 777 in about 30 minutes. How is that possible compared to U.S. flights?


The Seat and Pre-Departure Pictures



I noticed that Asiana uses a wide mix of planes to serve the route. Today, I flew on the A330-300. In the business class cabin in a 2-2-2 arrangement. There are 5 rows. I was seated in 5A, a window seat. I had checked on SeatGuru to see what the seats are like. Seated next to me was a young Korean gentleman. He looked like a college student. He even was studying from a big math textbook during the flight. Business class passengers have a special boarding gate at the front of the plane. I was not greeted by name.

The flight attendant offered us water or champagne. I went with champagne. Boarding announcements are given in Korean and English. The safety video is also given in Korean and English.

Hot towels are distributed.

photo towel

Here is the remote controlling the seat. It's quite simple.

photo 20181125_130733

Business Cabin just as we are about to push back.

photo 20181125_131619

Amenities



There is no amenity kit, which I don't mind since I don't really use most of the products or give it to family and friends.

The pillow is not that much different from economy. Maybe it's a bit bigger. I still used it for lower back support.

photo pillow

The blanket is also not much different from economy either. The cabin has no personal air vents. Sometimes people complain how hot it is in the cabin. I felt totally comfortable though.

photo blanket

The slippers are not as flimsy as you get in economy. They're slightly more padded.

photo slippers

The headphones were actually decent. I was told they are noise cancelling, but I'm not sure. At least I could pick up the sound on the IFE pretty well. Definitely use your own if have your own noise canceling headphones.

photo headphone

I wonder of these things are better on the longer flights to Europe, Australia or America?


The Food



From flying economy on Asiana several times,depending on the length of the flight, you might be served a boxed meal, like bulgogi and rice like I had on a flight between Seoul and Osaka. On flights across the Pacific, I've had both bibimbap and ssambap. There were also western choices which I didn't necessarily like. The breakfasts are usually hit and miss in economy on the long transpacs. My recommendation is if flying Asiana, get the Korean option. If you're not sure, they even give you instructions how to prepare the meal. The food is not too spicy. The flavors are not overwhelming and the smell, sometimes kimchi is served, is not strong. In my limited flying experience, I would say only my flight on EVA Air from Bangkok to Taipei where I had an Asian Vegetarian meal would top the Korean meals on Asiana.

Hot drink menu. So many choices.

photo hotdrinks

Wines. Bar menu was on previous page. Again, so many choices!

photo wine

The main meal choices. I'll go with bibimbap today.

photo foodmenu

The flight attendant setup our tables and placed a table cloth. Then the food started coming out. All courses were served separate.

Starter, rare roast beef. Really tender.

photo 20181125_144224

It's not a small meal. The bibimbap comes with some banchan, side dishes, like kimchi and small fish. There is also chili paste, called gochujang and sesame oil. Basically, you add the rice and as much gochujang and sesame oil as you want and mix it up.

photo meal

Bibimbap after mixing. I would say it doesn't seem very different from what you find in economy, just the size is bigger. Not a problem, with being full since I ate in the lounge earlier.

photo bibimbap

Fruit Plate for dessert. I'm glad that was all that was offered. I was stuffed already.

photo 20181125_161810


Entertainment and Seat



The neighbor left for a moment. Here is what the seat looks like reclined.

photo recline2

Foot rest available. The neighbor being tall didn't use it. I ended up not using it either.

photo recline1

The IFE is old. Videos play on a loop, it's not on demand. The screen is a nice size though. But it certainly is not the most up to date. I doubt this CNN video is updated either.

photo ife


Random Flight Pictures and Landing



Pushback next to a Cathay Pacific A330 on a rainy Sunday.

photo rain

Rainy takeoff from Hong Kong.

photo 20181125_135112

Finally above the clouds.

photo 20181125_140158

End of the day. Still a long flight and night ahead. Another 12 hour flight to LAX on Asiana 204 in an A380. If flying economy, sit in the upper deck. More spacious up there.

photo 20181125_172635

What a great final trip in 2018. I had the chance to visit Hong Kong for two days, and get a business class experience today.
See more

Verdict

Asiana Airlines

8.1/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering9.5

Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge - Business Class Section

8.1/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.5
Services9.0

Hong Kong - HKG

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Seoul - ICN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

This was my first ever mileage or status run. I am now an Asiana Diamond member with Star Alliance Gold privileges. I was so excited to getting this chance to not only visit Hong Kong, but get a business class experience. Singapore Silver Kris has a nice lounge even though the restrooms were out of order. I also wish it had views of the tarmac but that's just me. The business class seat on the A330 is not lie flat, although perfectly nice for a mid day flight like this. The service is excellent and the food though not too different from economy, is still really nice. The service is probably scaled down a bit compared to the longer flights. Although I would not pay for or use miles for an upgrade on the A330, especially for longer or overnight flights, this is still a reasonably nice option for the kind of flight and my expectations coming in. Thanks for reading and watching my video. Hope you like it.

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 21 reviews of 6 airlines on the route Hong Kong (HKG) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Cathay Pacific with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 13 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

  • Comment 480339 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 10305 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR and welcome on board !

    A very exhaustive and detailed report, pleasant to read.

    Congratulations on your Star Alliance Gold Status.

    " I decided that a status run and the price I paid was worth the cost."
    A great idea

    " I was informed that I had been upgraded to business class"
    A nice surprise !
    Especially for your first flight with your new status

    "Unfortunately, Singapore Silver Kris offers none of those things. "
    Yes, that's the bad side of this lounge.
    But, in my opinion, the food offer is better thant the UA's lounge's.

    "There were also western choices which I didn't necessarily like"
    Same for me, western food on OZ flights is not the best.

    "get the Korean option"
    Yes, but it's almost always the same dishes.

    "I would say it doesn't seem very different from what you find in economy, just the size is bigger"
    I had the same feeling.

    All in all a good flight with OZ for this 3 hours flight.

    See you soon for another report

  • Comment 480367 by
    toyion 47 Comments

    Hello Lbfortress. A very nice and detailed first report! I flew Asiana from Tokyo to Seoul for my business trip last month too, and that was my first time to fly a Korean carrier. I was surprised indeed Asiana is a very good airlines and in-flight services were superb. Next time I would like to try their long haul flight too! Looking forward to your next sharing!

  • Comment 480536 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4742 Comments

    Hi LbFortress, thanks for sharing your first report here with us, and what a nice report it is!

    Welcome to the hamster wheel that is the airline status game! Once you get on, it's very hard to stop, haha. I myself just got back from a year-end status run from DC to the West Coast.

    "I don't know if my status had anything to do with the upgrade or not. Was this an example of an operational upgrade?"
    - I'll guarantee it was because of your status. Most carriers use status to prioritize operational upgrades. Lucky you, the new status started paying off immediately!

    Those old Asiana J cabins have definitely seen better days. The product is totally outdated now, but fine for regional flights. Still, Asiana has a five star reputation to keep up--these old seats don't help.

    The catering looks good. You can't go wrong with bibimbap--it probably is the same as in Y though. Overall, OZ offers good quality service, they just need to refresh these old cabins.

    Thanks again for sharing this report--a very well-written, interesting, and well-photographed report. Hope to see more in the future!

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

    • Comment 480566 by
      lbfortress AUTHOR 47 Comments

      Thanks for the read and your comments. I'm excited to be on this hamster wheel. I don't know if Asiana has any plans to update any of the cabins on their older planes. I hope they keep the 3-3-3 on the 777 though.

  • Comment 482526 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 291 Comments

    Nice report. It definitely doesn't hurt having a nice upgrade, even if their product looked a bit dull on the HKG-ICN route.

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